500 Miles (2014)

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Released 7-Jan-2015

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Trailer-x 6 for other Eagle titles
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 78:15
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ashlee Jensen
Studio
Distributor

Eagle Entertainment
Starring Ebony Nave
Pete Valley
Ashlee Jensen
Rosie Keogh
James Elliot
Jamie Joseph
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Jamie Murgatroyd


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Emily (Ebony Nave) is a rebellious high school girl whose life is in disarray. After the death of her parents she is in foster care, favours the Goth look, does drugs and parties hard with her friend Annabel (Rosie Keogh). When she is expelled from school for possession of drugs, she steals a car and drives into the Queensland outback. Her car breaks down outside a small town near the petrol station owned by Shane (Pete Valley). Shane sees that Emily needs help and offers her his couch to sleep on; with no money, no transport and nowhere to go, she accepts after some hesitations.

     Shane introduces Emily to his mates and to Michelle (Ashlee Jensen), who believes that she has a thing going with Shane. Michelle asks Shane why he is looking after Emily, and he replies simply “because she needs my help”. As Emily stays longer she is gradually inducted into the life and times of a small country town, perhaps for the first time in years starting to relax and enjoy life, although Michelle and Shane’s older friend Jason (Jamie Joseph) remain hostile. Emily and Shane slowly start to open up to each other and affection grows until one incident pulls them apart and sends Emily back to the city. Can true love triumph in the end?

     500 Miles (the title is taken from The Proclaimers’ song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) which provides a pivotal sequence in the story), is a low budget Australian film by a very inexperienced cast and crew. It is pretty much the first feature for director / actor Ashlee Jensen, cinematographers Patrick L Coe and Matthew E Taylor, co-writer / editor Terrance M Young, writer Jennifer Coghlan and principal cast members Ebony Nave and Pete Valley, so perhaps it is no surprise that 500 Miles is somewhat rough around the edges. This is especially noticeable in the jumpy editing, the jerky camera moves and some of the framing of shots, which frequently seem to leave faces and people outside of the frame. If this were a film cropped to 1.78:1 from the widescreen ratio it would make sense, but as the film is presented in the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio I can only think that this is deliberate, or sloppy. Either way, it is distracting and does nothing to help the story unfold.

     The acting fares better, even though some of the dialogue is pretty stilted. Ebony Nave and Pete Valley give natural performances and have a chemistry on screen which is evident, making their blossoming and tentative relationship believable. The script itself is quite predictable although the “incident” that pulls the couple apart seems to come out of nowhere.

     500 Miles is at heart a story about the possibility of redemption when somebody cares, and a chaste romance. There is nothing innovative or different but the scenes of small town life, such as the waterhole or the karaoke in the pub, are funny, while, despite the contrivances of the script, the characters of Emily and Pete are genuine and likeable enough to draw us in by the conclusion. And as this is ultimately a feel good film there is never much doubt how it will end.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     500 Miles is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     Filmed using the Red Epic digital camera, close-ups and interiors look sharp, exteriors, such as the widescreen scenes of outback Queensland, less so. Colours are glossy and natural, especially the blue skies, although the film does evince that digital yellowish tint in night sequences under lights which does affect skin tones. Blacks are solid, shadow detail very good, brightness and contrast consistent.

     There was occasionally minor aliasing but no marks or other artefacts.

     There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a choice of English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps or English DTS 5.1 at 754 Kbps. I listened to the DTS track.

     Some of the dialogue was mumbled and hard to hear so subtitles could have helped. The surrounds and rears were not utilised for effects to any extent, providing only some slight ambient sound, such as insects, and fireworks but being mostly used for the music. The sub-woofer supported the music and the fireworks.

     I seldom noticed the original score by Jamie Murgatroyd. Much more obvious in the audio, and more fun, were the added songs by the likes of Dave DiMarco and Troy Cassar-Daley, while Pete Valley also contributes an original song as well as belting out I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).

     I did not notice any lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers

     On start-up there were trailers for Zulu (1:46), A Good Marine (1:52), Goodbye World (1:51), Saints & Soldiers 3 (2:25), Back in the Day (2:05) and The Culture High (2:24). The same trailers may be selected from the menu.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     There are no other DVD releases of 500 Miles in other regions at this stage, although the US has a VOD listed on Amazon.com.

Summary

     It took me a while to get into 500 Miles because of the clichéd situations and less than inspired dialogue. But the film drew me in with its engaging characters, the chemistry between the leads and some exuberant and funny sequences. While there is not much doubt where the film is heading, you like these characters and don’t care!

     The film is rated MA and does feature drug use. The violence, including sexual violence, is not explicit and is mostly out of frame.

     The video and audio are fine. Unrelated trailers are the only extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
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